All posts by AIA

Anster Cinema returns!

Anster Cinema is thrilled to return with the alternative Christmas classic, Edward Scissorhands, on Sunday 5th December at 6.45pm at Dreel Halls.

Tim Burton directs Johnny Depp as the gentle but awkward outsider, Edward Scissorhands, in this story of self-discovery and isolation.

When a visitor draws him into the social world, Edward meets and falls for Kim (Winona Ryder) but is he destined to remain always an outsider?

Director: Tim Burton/
Duration: 105 minutes
Certificate: U

Tickets: £5 / £2 under 18s – available on the door 

Anster Nicht: The Ancient Greeks and the Sea, 18th November at 7.30pm, Dreel Halls

The Mediterranean sea dominated the experience and imagination of the ancient Greeks. This talk will focus on the community and culture of classical Athens (500-300 BC) to reveal an engagement with the sea and seafaring which was both complicated and exciting.  Dr Jon Hesk, who teachers Greek and Classical Studies at the University of St Andrews, will provide some amazing stories from myth and history: pirates and kidnappings; shape-shifting sea gods; dolphins coming to the rescue; a mighty invading navy destroyed by guile and skill.  He will also reveal how Athens’ status as a coastal city-state shaped its politics and empire, and how both the dangers and fruits of the sea affected the lives of ordinary Athenian citizens and their slaves.

A resident of Anstruther since 2000, Dr Jon Hesk has published books and articles on Homeric epic, Greek drama, Athenian oratory and rhetoric, and the politics and culture of classical Athens.  He has an occasional blog called ‘Ancient and Modern Rhetoric’ which explores the similarities and differences between ancient Greek and Roman culture and life in the 21st century.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend our public talks in Anstruther. If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £3 per event. Membership is £10 per year and will allow you to attend all four remaining Anster Nichts of the season, our Christmas social and to receive advance information about our events and activities. For more information on membership please visit our Membership page.

Autumn Printmaking Workshop

The AIA will be participating in the East Neuk’s Family Learning Roadshow on Wednesday 20th October between 2pm and 4pm at Cambo Gardens. You can join our Autumn Printmaking Workshop led by local artist Linda Jackson. Linda will teach participants how to make autumn monoprints inspired by the seasonal colours and natural materials from the garden. No need to book, just drop in anytime between 2pm and 4pm. 

Anster Nicht: East Neuk Community Emergency Planning Team, 21st October at 7.30pm, Dreel Halls

The East Neuk Community Emergency Planning Team was established in 2019 to help communities and individuals in the East Neuk prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies in a way that complements the work of the Emergency Services and promotes safety to the most vulnerable. During the various lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, ENCEPT played a critical role in our community.

ENCEPT’s Gillian Duncan will talk about its formation, its purpose, achievements to date and future plans. She will also give an insight into dealing with the COVID crisis and a brief demonstration showing what ENCEPT may be faced with during an activation of the Emergency Plan.

Members and non-members are welcome to attend our public talks in Anstruther. If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £3 per event. Membership is £10 per year and will allow you to attend all the 2021-2022 Anster Nichts and the 2021 Christmas Social.

For more information on membership please visit our Membership page.

This month’s Anster Nicht will be preceded by the AIA’s AGM, starting at 7pm.

Anster Nicht: The West Braes Project, 16 September at 7.30pm, Dreel Halls

Given the ongoing uncertainty we have decided to roll out our 2021-2022 season on a monthly basis, allowing us to respond to any changing circumstances and regulations. Our first event will be on Thursday 16 September at 7.30pm at Dreel Halls.  Details are below.  Thereafter they will be, as usual, on the third Thursday of the month at 7.30pm in October, November, January, February and March. 

Members and non-members are welcome to attend our public talks in Anstruther. If you are not yet a member of the AIA you can attend individual Anster Nichts for £3 per event. Membership is £10 per year and will allow you to attend all six Anster Nichts of the season. For more information on membership please visit our Membership page.

16th September 2021: The West Braes Project

The West Braes Project was founded in 2016 and is run by a group of Pittenweem residents. The Project is focused on regenerating The West Braes Park in Pittenweem, renovating the 19th Century tidal pool and creating a sensory garden. The Project has successfully engaged the Pittenweem community, with residents fundraising and getting involved at all levels of the operation, from running the crazy golf to taking on Trustee roles. Last month saw the Grand Opening of the Pittenweem Pool, attended by a real mermaid! Trustee and Founder, David Thomson, will talk us through the formation of the West Braes Project, the hard work behind-the-scenes to make things happen, the pool renovation and the Project’s future plans. 

Easter 2021 with the AIA

Our Easter Duck Race has been a staple family event in the East Neuk calendar for decades, but due to Covid we have made the decision to pause the big race for a second year running and this year will instead host a series of fun family activities across the Easter holidays.

We are kicking off with a design a duck competition and we invite people of all ages to decorate, colour-in or design a duck and place it in your window for the duration of the Easter holidays. Photos of entries can be sent to the AIA ( or by DM in Facebook) for a chance to win various egg-citing prizes!

The Easter fun continues with the launch of a cracking brand-new story in The East Neuk Pirate Series. Written by Cellardyke writer and teacher Steve Blair, the story series is set in the East Neuk and sees Steve’s son Bertie as a pirate setting off on various adventures.

Especially for the AIA, Steve has penned a new adventure – Pirate Bertie and the Great Anstruther Duck Hunt:

It’s the day before Anstruther’s annual Duck Race but disaster has struck! During the night, the last of the winter wind blew the ducks across the town. If the ducks can’t be found in time, the race can’t go ahead. When Pirate Bertie hears of this news, his rallies his crew and they embark on The Great Anstruther Duck Hunt to bring the ducks back safely. But can they find all the ducks? And will they make it on time? Join us for our new adventure and find out!

The pirate theme will continue with our first ever Anstruther Duck Hunt. Families can follow a treasure map between Cellardyke Harbour and the Dreel Halls in order to find 10 lost ducks in the windows of shops and homes. The duck hunt will run for the duration of the school holidays allowing the community to get dressed up as pirates and set off on a socially-distanced adventure to track down all the ducks.

Anster Community Development Project

Anstruther Improvements Association is proud to launch the Anster Community Development Project, our new three year community development project for 2021-2023.

Thanks to a National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund, Anster Community Development Project will enable our member-led SCIO to build on our strong history of working to improve the Anstruther, Kilrenny and Cellardyke communities over the last 70 years. This new initiative will provide opportunities for local people to take action, strengthen connections and joint working, highlight our community assets and provide opportunities for volunteering.

This community development initiative is a step change for our member-led charity.  Anster Community Development Project will be managed by our trustees with the support of our first member of staff, Julia Priestley. As a locally based Community Development Worker, Julia will drive forward the AIA’s strategy to meet the needs of Anstruther’s community, working in partnership with the many other dynamic local groups. Julia is a local resident with a young family and has a background in community development initiatives in arts and wellbeing, inclusion, mental health, community engagement and working with young people.  

Anster Community Development Project will also support social, cultural and educational events and activities in the recently refurbished Dreel Halls building. This is an exciting new beginning for us all, as we support the members of our community to re-connect with each other after the challenges of the past year. We look forward to welcoming everyone through the doors again when we can safely do so.

If you have an idea you would like to share, would like support to make things happen or just want to get involved in our project, we would love to hear from you!

Please email Julia:  or DM our Facebook.

AIA “Building a thriving and resilient community, improving Anstruther for all”.

February’s Anster Nicht In

February’s Anster Nicht In, a talk about the marine mammals that inhabit the Firth of Forth by Ronnie Mackie, will be held online via Zoom on Thursday 18th February at 7.30pm. Members will be sent details of how to attend the online meeting, and any other parties interested in attending are invited to contact the AIA via email (  

Forth Marine Mammals
Ronnie Mackie will tell us about the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoise) that regularly visit the Forth and the citizen scientists who monitor them. The talk will be illustrated with slides and stories from 30 years of watching the waters around us.

We hope to see you there!

January’s Anster Nicht In

January’s Anster Nicht In, a talk about the surgeon Thomas Black by Glenn Jones, will be held online via Zoom on Thursday 21st January at 7.30pm. Members have been sent details of how to attend the online meeting, and any other parties interested in attending are invited to contact the AIA via email (  

The Surgeon and the Painter
The surgeon, Thomas Black, drowned tragically in Anstruther Harbour in the early hours of February 29th 1864. But who was he? What were the circumstances of his death? What happened to his family? How did his portrait come to be painted posthumously in Liverpool, some 20 years later, by the internationally-known artist, Robert Fowler R.I.? How did it later come to be hanging for over 60 years in Anstruther Town Hall, only to be found badly damaged in a store room under the Town Hall in 2014? And where is it now?

With so many unanswered questions, Glenn Jones has been doing some detective work, and invites you to follow the trail.

We hope to see you there!